Thursday, August 30, 2007

Day Four (and Three)

"The honeymoon's over" -- 4th grade teacher

My co-worker pretty much hit the nail on the head. The students have progressively gotten worse!! Don't get me wrong, they're good kids, they are just a little . . . um . . . talkative. What can you expect? They're 3rd graders!!

Anyway, so on to day Three. (since I didn't get around to posting yesterday) The major change for Wednesday was that I only had one "special". Since this term is new to me too, I'll "enlighten" you. "Specials" at my school are the special schedule given to the elementary. These are times when the students aren't in my classroom. It could be for music, P.E., Art, Library, or Computer. 3 days a week, I have 2 specials (each 1/2 hour long) -- one in the morning, one in the evening. The other 2 days (Wednesday being one of them), I only have one special. My special on Wednesday isn't until after lunch, so I have them all to myself until lunch time. I guess I can't complain -- I've substituted or helped in schools where the teacher has no relief all day long. Anyway, having said all this, Wednesday was a very long morning. We re-arranged the schedule to acommodate some tutoring, but that didn't work out very well at all! Math definately must be one of the first subjects covered in the mornings, or I lose them!

Day Four -- today. They are beginning to run together. Today, my main concerns have been focused on "teacher responsibilities". I have a newsletter I need to get out and lesson plans to have completed and turned in by tomorrow!! I've just barely been treading water this week as it is - now I need to think about next week!!! I'm sure it will work out -- speaking of which -- I have some stuff I brought here to work on and I need to get to that.

As the first of 2 side notes, I got an apartment!!!! The elementary principal helped me find a place close to the school -- and for a reasonable price! I'll post pictures as soon as I have some furniture in there.

The second note is a funny student story. I think it was Wednesday. I was teaching Language class, and one little boy raised his hand. He said, "I just wanted to tell you. I've been timing you since you started teaching Language, and it's been 17 minutes and 22 seconds." I wasn't sure how to take this, so I just said, "Thank you, but you don't need to do that." Later in math class, I let him be in charge of the timer for around-the-world speed drills, but he still used his wristwatch to time me. He hasn't done this anymore since then, but I just thought it was so funny, I just had to say something.

Until tomorrow . . . or until I have more spare time :S

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Day Two

Day two has ended -- I'm almost half-way through the week! Things went well today. The students are really listening well. I'm not sure if that's because they just always listen, or if they're scared of me, or if they just don't know how to take me! I've tried making jokes, but they just kind of look at me like I've lost my mind.

Today we were reading about General George Washington helping a Tory woman after his soldiers had taken food from her garden. We were discussing why he told his soldiers they shouldn't have done that. He told them that because she was a woman, they should not treat her that way, regardless of which side she supported. I took the opportunity to tell the "gentlemen" in my class how important it was that they treat women with respect. One said, "Like when we're in line, we let the girls go in front of us." I told him they don't have to do that, since we're in lines several times every day (and I know if the guys are always near other guys, the will ALWAYS talk!). I followed it with, "But if you do, you'll get brownie points from me!" Then I discovered at what point children transition from literal thinkers to abstract thinkers. Everyone's eyes brightened, they sat up straighter, and said "we get brownies??!!" I, of course, had to clarify (with the hint that brownies could be possible in the future)

On a different note, I have a possibility of an apartment. My parents are coming up tonight to go look at it with me. I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The First Day of School!

The long-awaited day has finally come! After years of waiting . . . After months of anxious anticipation . . . After weeks of impatience . . . I have finally started a blog. (oh, and my first-ever-first-day-of-school-and-I'm-going-to-be-the-teacher-for-the-rest-of-the-year was today, too!) How do you fit into just a few paragraphs all the excitement and adventure crammed into one 7-hour school day?? I'll see if I can hit some of the highlights.

I got there extra early -- I guess so I would have more time to think of all the things I hadn't gotten done.

At this point I feel it necessary to insert a "historical account" of the past week. I arrived at the school last Monday to be greeted by the 12-year accumulation of "stuff" the previous teacher didn't want to lug to her new home in the midwest. Not that it was all bad -- I found some useful stuff (amid the useless, of course!). I decided at that point how I wanted to decorate my room, only to discover the following day that 90% of my decorations were Missing-in-Action! The remainder of the week was spent preparing for orientation on Thursday night - thanks to the wonderful assistance from some new friends. They were willing to give up their time (which I'm sure doesn't come easily) to help me get my room in order. They loaned me a calendar, decorations, posters, helper charts, and I'm sure a lot more that I can't think of right now. In the end, my room ended up looking something like this (minus the chairs on the desks):

View from the back door View from the front door

My Desk!!!!! 90% borrowed bulletin board


Anyway, back to today! My 25 students (one is on vacation) were fairly well-behaved today. They kept talking, but what 3rd graders aren't?? We finished all our work today, and some even listed me as their favorite teacher when I gave them an "about me" paper to fill out. I'm not quite sure how I could be their favorite teacher since I've only actually been their teacher for one day (maybe that's why -- they don't know me yet!)

Another first of the day was the first tooth lost in my class! One little girl lost her tooth sometime in the afternoon -- I guess it can't get much earlier in the year than that!

Other than that, the day was hopefully as close to "normal" and "routine" as it gets (pipe dreams for a new teacher, I know, but, please - give me my moment!!)

I guess that's all for now -- please post a comment so I know at least someone's reading it. (first-timers, you can post with your name without entering an e-mail address)

Until tomorrow . . .